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POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

Dear board members:

This is a first attempt to systematically gather facts and data to better understand the scope of the carbon-build up problem on e39 M5's. As you may have noted from associated threads, this problem most typically is found to be clogged secondary air ports due to carbon deposits, which trip the SES indicator. This issue is typically is NOT covered under warranty, and is very expensive to repair (~$8500 USD).

Carbon Buildup FAQ (summary)
Discussion on Carbon Buildup (long)

Can you please respond to the list of questions below. It would be of interest to also hear from higher mileage M5 owners (>60k mi) who have NOT experienced the problem. Please number your responses per the list below. I will collate the information at a later date and report back. Your participation is greatly appreciated! :)

Best regards,
Dave

CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE: M5board MEMBER POLL

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
5. Mileage of my car:
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:

Please provide any other comments that might be helpful.

Thank you!! :byee55amg
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. No
4. 6/00 production
5. 68k
6. minimal, about 1L per 3k miles, with 10/60, just switched to 0/40 so we'll see if that changes
7. SF bay area, California, car originally from florida 8/00 thru 3/03
8. C not a lot of highway use, but my daily commute contains 8 or 9 miles of 3-4th gear "back roads" with rpms from 3-5k. Car sees the track 4 weekends per year give or take a couple.
9. "top tier" premium unleaded, in california that's 91, chevron or shell usually. Occasion toying with octane booster, 96-100 sunnoco at the track, thru some toluene in a couple of times too.
10. TWS 10/60 from 36k to about 66k, just tried mobil 1 0w40 on a recommendation from dinan to see if that effected oil temps (it did, lower by 15-20degrees F) we'll see if that changes consumption.
Mike

wilsodh said:
CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE: M5board MEMBER POLL

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
5. Mileage of my car:
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:

Please provide any other comments that might be helpful.

Thank you!! :byee55amg
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. Yes
2. Don't know
3. BMW warrantied "as one time good will repair"
4. 9/99 - 00 MY
5. 54K
6. 1qt per 1200 miles
7. Carolinas
8. C
9. Costco 93 octane
10.Castrol TWS 10-
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
- Yes, at least I have the codes coming up
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
- secondary air system flow too low
- catalyst system efficiency cyl # 5-8
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
- just discovered tody - nothing done
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
1/2000, 2000
5. Mileage of my car:
- 63,000
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
- 1 ltr/7-800 miles
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
- Mostly in Texas
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
- b (my wife drives it in summer)
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
- BP gold - 91 octane I think
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:
- Castrol 60W from dealer
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. Maybe or probably. (BMW has certifed it as carbon build-up but I have errors codes related to the secondary air system)
2. P0411
3. Trying to run Auto-RX and repeated fuel injector cleanings. Also plan to manually clean out the secondary air passages.
4. 12/1999 build date and Model Year 2000 M5.
5. with 106,721 miles.
6. 1 L/1000 miles
7. Orginally in JJ for 80K then in Texas
8. C
9. Shell Optima 93 for 30K miles. Don't know about gas when NJ owner had car.
10. Castrol 10w-60
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. No
2. N/A
3. N/A
4. 10/2002 2003 MY
5. 34,500
6. Was 1qt/1500-1700; with TWS10-60 it is 0.5L / 3500
7. Northern CA; 17k miles in Bay Area, 17k miles in central valley
8. [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; ...few short trips
9. 91 Octane; Califonia mix
10. BMW 5W30 for first 30k, now 10W60 TWS
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE: M5board MEMBER POLL

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
5. Mileage of my car:
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:

1. No
4. 10/99 (MY2000)
5. 29,000
6. approx. 1L / 3,000mi.
7. San Francisco Bay area all its life
8. c.
9. 91 octane premium
10. 10/60 Castrol (liquid gold)

Thanks for doing this research, I am very interested in this issue.

Dennis
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

wilsodh said:
1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
5. Mileage of my car:
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:

1. No
2. N/A
3. N/A
4. 10/00; 2001
5. 22,000
6. 0.5-1 qt. per 5,000 mi. (Castrol TWS 10W60)
7. Sacramento
8. C
9. Chevron Supreme 91 octane
10. Castrol TWS 5W30 for the first 15,000 miles then 10W60 thereafter
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
No
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
9/01, 2002
5. Mileage of my car:
58k
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
1 quart / 4k miles
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
Carolinas purchased new
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
70% highway, 30% city, 3 track days/year
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
Exxon 93 or BP 93
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:
BMW 5w30

We have smog tests so I'm hoping to never see this.
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1) Yes

2) Don't know

3) Replaced heads - BMW covered parts - I payed labor - about $3000 my problem was partially due to using leaded fuel on a few fillups.

4) 11/99

5) 89,000 when heads replaced - 100,000 now

6) 1Litre every 2500 miles before and after head replacement

7) North Carolina - original owner

8) (A)

9) 93 Octane Shell V-Power - Amaco Ultimate 93 before V-Power

10) Always 10W-60
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

wilsodh said:
...
CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE: M5board MEMBER POLL

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
5. Mileage of my car:
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:
...


1. No
2. N/A
3. N/A
4. 01/03; 2003
5. 22,000
6. 1 qt. per 2500 mi.
7. Michigan
8. b
9. Marathon 93 (never used anything else)
10. BMW Hi-Perf. Synthetic 5W-30 (never used anything else)
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

I purchased an 00' about 6 weeks ago with 61K miles. This issue is a concern of mine, as I don't have or ever want 8K lying around just for a "cleaning". Although I have seen no signs of carbon build up - no SES light, no cold engine hesitation, etc. Prevention was not discussed much so I am wondering if I should begin taking measures now to prevent it ie fuel additive periodically, auto-rx, etc? Oil consumption is unknown as I have put less than 1K miles on it. And I always drive like a bat out of hell so babying it is not an issue for me
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE: M5board MEMBER POLL
Survey Questions:
1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)
4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:
5. Mileage of my car:
6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:
7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:
10. Typical oil that I use in my car:

My Responses:
1. Yes
2. Not known, but it was definitely carbon build-up in the secondary air emission control system. (I inspected the parts).
3. Cleaned out the crossover tube between heads plus head orifaces as a preliminary fix - worked, all faults cleared. Cost was not covered under extended warranty, all on my nickel - but cost was much, much less than full clean-out. I will try some other fixes before I go back in and try to get fully repaired.
4. 11/99 - MY 2000
5. 65,900
6. 1 liter every 1500 or so miles
7. Car spent 1st 44K miles in Texas, currently is in Central MD.
8. C moderate driving plus occassional sprints to high speed/high RPMs.
9. Gas is always 93 Octane premium, typically from Price Club/Costco.
10. 10W-60 Castrol from the dealer.

Cheers,
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. No - Have you had the carbon build-up issue?

4. Early/99, 1999 - Build Date/Model Year of my car:

5. 50,000 miles - Mileage of my car:

6. 1L/300miles - Approximate oil consumption of my car:

7. Dublin(City Centre), Ireland

8. C, I drive in the city with loads of traffic lights and moving at slow speeds, My avg speed is only about 17mph. When I get the space I let it rip.

My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage

9. 95 RON - Typical gasoline that I use in my car:

10. Castrol TWS - Typical oil that I use in my car:
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?

Maybe -- At only 30K miles, engine shakes and shudders when accelerating between 1500-2000 RPM in higher gears, but is fine at higher RPMs.

2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.

Dealer reported SES light fault was misfire on cylinder #6 after WOT run to the readline and car went into limp mode. Replaced MAFS, but no improvement. Dealer pulled spark plugs on #5 and #6 and noticed plugs were fouled. Plugs replaced, but car still experiences rough low-RPM acceleration.

3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?)

Dealer ran extensive tests and claimed that my driving style caused carbon build-up. Recommended fix is to drive more agressively and at higher RPMs! (I'm currently trying Techron Concentrate and other cleaners to see if they can improve the situation.)

4. Build Date/Model Year of my car:

2001 Model, built 9/2000

5. Mileage of my car:

30K

6. Approximate oil consumption of my car:

Minimal: one quart every 4-5K miles.

7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)

Washington, DC metro area exclusively

8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage

very few runs to the readline, low RPMs to maximize mileage, lots of stop and go and heavy traffic.

9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car:

Premium always, sometimes cheap Costco gas

10. Typical oil that I use in my car:

Mobile 1 synthetic 5W30

Please provide any other comments that might be helpful.

I just learned all this 2 weeks ago, so I've not yet been able to find a fix to my problem.
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. No
4. 01/00, 2000 MY
5. 70K miles
6. Between 569 Miles/L and 2147 Miles/L Average over the last 7K miles is 946 Miles/L
7. Originally purchased in NYC, I bought it at 52K miles and since then it has been my daily driver in Chicago and NW suburbs
8. Mostly highway but it sees redline multiple times every day and triple digit speeds every day --- HAHAHA.
9. Shell or Mobil 93 Octane 16.9MPG.
10. Castrol 10W60 from the dealer

I would complain about the oil consumption but I don't exactly baby it so I suppose it's to be expected.
 

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Re: POLL ON CARBON BUILD-UP ISSUE - ALL MEMBERS PLEASE READ

1. No

4. 2000 E39 M5 build 8/1999

5.39k
6 one quart every 2500 miles easy!
7 LA CA
8 B driving style
9 prmium only differnt types
10 only CAstrol 10-60
 

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1. No
2. n/a
3. n/a
4. Oct 2001 (2002my)
5. 90,000 km
6. negligible
7. London
8. b
9. Shell Optimax (98RON)
10. Castrol TWS 10W60
 

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Just saw your posting.

1. Have you had the carbon build-up issue?
Don't know yet.

2. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', please list the fault code(s) associated with the issue, if known. These typically may be PO410 through PO419.
I recently got an error code of "OBDII Code: P0420 Catalytic effiency low on bank 1." I had thought this might be a simple problem and was going to try BG 44K to see if that cleared it

3. If the answer to #1 was 'yes', how was the issue resolved? Was the cost covered in full or in part by BMW (or 3rd party warranty?) I have not yet contacted the dealer this poll will surely prompt me. I have a 3rd party warranty issued by my dealer.

4. Build Date/Model Year of my car: est. 3/2000, however BMW NA states it was a later engine and I can use 10W/30w instead of 10W/60W.

5. Mileage of my car: 80,000

6. Approximate oil consumption of my car: 1 liter per 6000 mi.

7. My geographic location: (please list major general location of car's life if purchased used and different from current location if this information is known)
I purchased it used, but it has always been in the Washingto,DC area

8. My driving habits (choose one): [a] easy, mostly highway; mixed, normal city/highway but little hard driving; [c] moderate - normal driving plus some regular hard/high rpm usage; [d] hard and/or frequent track usage
90% is a with the rest b
9. Typical gasoline that I use in my car: Costco. That I mix 10 gal of 93 oct and 7 gal of 87 oct
10. Typical oil that I use in my car: TWS 10 W/ 60W
 
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